Senior Middle Hitter Kelly Derby
Oct. 14, 2012
HOUSTON, Texas – Hannah Allgood and Nicole Willis each recorded a double-double, while Kelly Derby notched a double-digit kill performance, but East Carolina could not overcome a .407 hitting percentage by Rice in a four-set (16-25, 25-19, 13-25, 11-25) loss on Sunday at Tudor Fieldhouse.
Willis, a junior out of Raleigh, N.C., slammed a match-high 17 kills and added 12 digs for the Pirates. She hit .245 in the contest with three total blocks, an assist, and a service ace. Allgood tuned in another excellent performance as she tallied 10 kills, and tied Shelby Beasley for a team-best 15 digs. Allgood, a junior outside hitter, also posted a pair of assists in the loss. Derby led the squad with a .345 hitting percentage and notched 10 kills and two blocks. Zarah Cecich contributed 38 assists at setter for the Pirates.
East Carolina (1-18, 0-8 C-USA) hung close with Rice (14-9, 7-2 C-USA) early in the first set, but was unable to hold off the hot-hitting Owl offense. Rice hit .405 in the set and knocked down 17 kills, while the Pirates were limited to a .103 attack percentage and 10 kills. Despite their efforts, the Pirates dropped the first frame, 25-16.
The second set, however, was a very different story. The ECU offense came to life and hit .381 in the frame, while the Pirates notched 17 kills and had a 68-percent sideout margin. In the game two alone, Willis pounded out seven of her 17 kills, added six digs and hit .400. Although the Pirates played solid volleyball, the Owls did not back down. The set saw nine ties and seven lead changes as it was the closest set of the match. With Cecich serving, the Pirates broke an 11-11 tie forcing the Owls into an attack error and followed that with a block by Willis and a kill off the hands of Allgood to force a Rice timeout. The Pirates were successful in stopping an Owl comeback after the hosts pulled within three (21-18). Willis slammed down her seventh kill of the frame to end the set giving the Pirates a 25-19 victory.
The Pirates will return home to Minges Coliseum for a pair of conference matches next weekend. ECU will host Memphis Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. Two days later, the Pirates will welcome UAB to Greenville on Sunday, Oct. 21, for a 1 p.m. match. Live stats and video will be available for both matches on www.ECUPirates.com.